Woman in abaya at November 4, 2017, Opening reception of Silent. Silence. Silenced.

Woman in abaya at November 4, 2017, Opening reception of Silent. Silence. Silenced.

For the Silent. Silence. Silenced exhibit at Atlantic works, I showed a grouping of black & white monoprints of hooded heads that many gallery visitors said were fascinating. At the artist talk, one of the guests thought the row of prints reminded her of Crusaders.

It was a long haul through self-censorship for me to show the monoprints, because more than one of my yoga associates told me they would not come to the exhibit or send any students to the exhibit to see the hooded images because they were too ISIS and too upsetting.

Up until those conversations, with people I admire and am grateful to have in my life,  it hadn’t occurred to me that I ought to sequester the images so the public would have a choice of whether or not to look at them. But I began to silence myself. Self-censor. Maybe I shouldn’t show them. Maybe the black hooded heads would upset people. Maybe I would be perceived as politically incorrect or a racist.

B & W monoprint

B & W monoprint

Consequently, as a way of working out my artistic dilemma, I made gold hooded heads and called them “Silenced by Capitalism.”  For some reason, I was sure the concept and the sculptures of female heads tightly shrouded in gold would not be upsetting to anyone.

More conversations.  With Charlene Liska who said “Don’t self-censor.”  In conversation with fellow artist Brenda Star who said, “Art is supposed to get people to think about what’s going on, around them. How are people going to become aware if they are protected from images, from art?”

Art is always a process. Often I know what I am thinking about when I work. I know how I started thinking and when I finish I know more about what I am thinking.

This is the story of the monoprints:

Christine Palamidessi printing Black Hooded mono prints.

Christine Palamidessi printing Black Hooded mono prints.

In the winter of 2017 I was artist in residence at Mass MoCA in North Adams, working on the printing press at Maker’s Mill. I was doing mono prints of the head of the Greek Goddess Nike, the image being based on the 420 BC bronze head of the goddess (now viewable in Athen’s Agora Museum). I thought I was exploring the imprints of antiquity on modern life and the meaning behind the Goddess: from the Victorious Female who rode in the chariot next to Zeus to a word and a swish on a sneaker. In addition I was exploring the meaning and hallucination that goes along with looking at a ‘head,” particularly the image of the first head we humans see and become visually attached to—the head of the mother who looks over the infant.

On the second or third day, I turned onn the radio. Our U.S. Senate had gathered to discuss Trump’s attorney general pick, Jeff Sessions. As I inked and pressed, Senator Elizabeth Warren read a letter, written by Martin Luther King Jr’s widow Coretta Scott King. The letter detailed Session’s history of racism and civil rights violations. The Speaker of the House shut Warren down; the Senate voted to silence her.

Silenced by Identity Politics

Silenced by Identity Politics

That was truly upsetting new for me.  I dropped a black inked hood over the face of Nike; and I kept going. A portion of the monoprints, made when the artist was upset about a silenced woman, are on exhibit at SILENT. SILENCE. SILENCED. at Atlantic Works Gallery .

This is the process. We use our skills, our sensitivity, our history, our bodies. and react to social, political and aesthetic conditions in our environment.

The black, hooded icon consumed my work for several days, initially expressing censorship; female censorship; and then moving on to reference images of racism, terrorism, and public degradation, execution, religion, and war as realized by a simple, stark, isolated hooded black face.

A hood/sack placed over a human head silences; humiliates; deprives a person of soul and individuality, while at the same time identifies that person as a single member of an oppressed group exploited by those more powerful.

I began thinking of a Female Goddess, Victory, who then became Silenced, who then became a an meditative icon.  An image is in effect in service to power. No one has ever cut off your head or mine. You are like me: a human being who speaks, an artist.

Silent. Silence. Silenced

2017-11 Silent Silence Silenced Palamidessi

November 4 – 25, 2017

Silent. Silence. Silenced, at Atlantic Works Gallery, pits the duality of quietude vs. inquietude within a provacative month-long show that is likely to stir up some controversy.

Exploring the particulars of silence, Boston artists Charlene Liska and Christine Palamidessi slide between sound made visible and the unquiet silence of nature; between the shrouding of a spokesperson and the aftershock of decapitated explosives. Each artist takes a different approach while working together to consider both the existential character of silence as well as the modes-of-being that cause us to remain or appreciate the silent, whether we have been made speechless by regime or silenced by awe.

Palamidessi’s sculptural work and monoprints re-mythologize noisy historical and contemporary events, with deliberate subtraction of sound and actions of self-censorship.

Using video and photography, Liska layers the psychological with the scientific, looking at the unreliability of perception and sound, the anxiety resulting from loss of signal, and, finally, the joy of small sounds.

Several artists have been invited to participate in the Silent. Silence. Silenced exhibition:
Christine Coënon, French sound artist.
John Wilkinson, Boston mobile maker.

Opening Reception and Special Event:Saturday, November 4, 6-9pm
“Everything You Wanted to Know About Abaya But Didn’t Know Who to Ask”
Three Arab women, in full black abaya, will answer questions about the experience of being silenced, or not, by their garments; as well as share the cultural history of the abaya.
Third Thursday Artist Talks: Thursday, November 16, 6-9pm
Gallery Hours 2:00-6:00 pm Fridays and Saturdays, or by appointment

Here and There

New England artists investigate place

Saturday October 14 – Friday October 27th

“[Places] give us continuity, something to return to, and offer a familiarity that allows some portion of our own lives to remain connected and coherent.”

Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

Vermont College of Fine Arts offers a low-residency MFA in Visual Art program, and so students of the program inevitably end up thinking about place and what it means. The program is here (Montpelier, Vermont) and it is there (wherever students live and work). Threads from across the country and sometimes globe meet in Montpelier and connect students, teachers and alumni. In Here and There, thirteen alumni of the program offer their interpretations of place and what it means to them. In addition to attending VCFA, Renee Lauzon, Muriel Angelil, Heather Park, Chip Rutan, Sumru Tekin, Kim Darling, Valerie Hird, Sabrina Fadial, Brian Zeigler, Samantha Eckert, Wendy Powell, Maggie Nowinski and Leah Grimaldi have lived or currently live and work in New England.

Opening Reception Saturday, October 14, 6-9pm
Third Thursday Reception and Artist Talk Thursday, October 19, 6-9pm
Gallery Hours 2-6pm Fridays and Saturdays, or by appointment

"IF THEY WANT POSTCARDS, I MAKE POSTCARDS"

“IF THEY WANT POSTCARDS, I MAKE POSTCARDS”

For the Silent. Silence. Silenced. show at Atlantic Works Gallery, Charlene Liska and I worked together to come up with an attractive and informative post card that would serve multiple purposes:

  1. A Hand-out to give friends and family.
  2. An immediate mailer/invitation. There’s no envelope to open.
  3. A good-looking ‘small flyer’ for us, fellow artist friends, and student volunteers to leave at coffee shops and to pin on announcement boards at museums, cultural organizations, and student centers, etc.
  4. A calling card for when we visit galleries this month.
  5. A possible bookmark and legacy stash.

Front of Charlene Liska’s postcard for Silent. Silence. Silenced.

Decisions to make before designing an Art Exhibit Post Card.

  1. What’s on the Front? Usually an image. Could be words.
  2.  What Goes on the Back? Who-What-When-Where ( more later).
  3. Size. To qualify for First-Class Mail postcard rate the card has to be rectangular, at least 3-1/2 inches high x 5 inches long x 0.007 inch thick and be no more than 4-1/4 inches high x 6 inches long x 0.016 inches thick.
  4.  Print Run. How many to  print?
  5.  Budget. How much money you have to spend on this aspect of promotion//marketing?

As far as print run: we decided to print 500 postcards and print two different front images.  We shared identical print information on the back of the post card and varied the image on the front 250/250.

Front of Christine Palamidessi post card for Silent. Silence. Silenced.

Finally, here are the five main points to keep in mind when putting your post card all together:

  1. Plan ahead.  Have the postcards ready 1-2 months before your show opens. This means not only do you need to design the card, but communicate with your printer to find out his/her lead time. So work backwards from your desired date of having the post-card in hand and then line up all the things you need to do to make it happen.
  2.  Who. What. When and Where. Yes, you’ve heard this before and you’ll hear it again. Who (your name) What (name of show and definition of show–is it a pop-up, a month-longshow, a one nighter?)  When (the run date of the show as well as the date of the Opening Night and any other special events during the run of the show) Where (name of the gallery, or venue, and the address. Include zip code and phone number of the gallery and the gallery/venue website. You may consider putting your own phone number on the card, as Charlene and I did,  but realize your phone number may end up on someone’s solicitation list.
  3. Establish Credibility. Be sure to proofread everything. Use high resolution photos/jpg. A sloppy looking card communicates ‘a don’t care/don’t know/I make mistakes attitude’ — which you probably don’t want to do unless that’s the theme of your exhibit, which has its own set of decisions and contradictions not addressed here.
  4. Keep It Clean and Easy. Fewer words are better than a lot of words. People appreciate quick-to-eye grab information. (look at image below–left side of the back of postcard)  to see how we varied caps and lower case, as well as grey and black inks.)
  5.  Ask Friends and Art Community to Help Spread the Word &  Distribute Your Post Cards (drop off, mail, post in their place of work) .

 

Narrow

new work by Perla Casteneda and Kristen Freitas

September 9 – 30, 2017

Both artists will examine the reality of the world around them. Come broaden your world!

Perla will showcase her recent trip to Guatemala through photographs, video and
installation. Her work will focus on the ideals of the quality of life, culture and its expectations,
and her husband’s identity while in his native country. Perla will examine how each world relates
and differs.

Kristen will dig deep into the emotional and physical ideals of society. These ideals that
we either choose to accept or push away. Our choice determines our emotional wellbeing.
Narrow will focus on an imposed and socially acceptable reality and how it can affect your
surroundings.

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 9, 6-9PM
Third Thursday Reception and Artist Talks: Thursday, September 21, 6-9PM
Gallery Hours: Fridays & Saturdays, 2-6 PM or by appointment

Atlantic Works Gallery presents

Friends

A group show of Atlantic Works Gallery members and their invited guests

Thursday July 20th – Saturday August 19th

Thursday, July 20th 6:00-9:00 pm Opening Reception

Thursday, August 17th 6:00-9:00 pm Closing Reception

Gallery Hours Fridays and Saturdays 2:00-6:00 pm

Atlantic Works Gallery 80 Border Street East Boston

History is Here and Now

curated by Rachel Shatil

June 3 – 30, 2017

With the rise of nationalism in the USA and all Events over the globe, there is a sense of déjà vu. There is a shared anxiety among millions across the globe that history is repeating itself, that we are witnessing an epic process of dehumanization, that we are living in a world that not only tolerates hate, segregation, atrocities, and genocides, but rather promotes those things. Therefore it is essential to bring back the collective historical memory of our brutal past – to remind ourselves that the abyss is not just a vague paranoid delusion, it is happening here and now.

The show will take advantage of the very well-researched public domain photographs of war-zones, deportations, mass killings, and other atrocities. The visitor experience, although a bit uncomfortable, will be engaging and informative. The images will be integrated into a collage of past and present. Together they will form a four-walled landscape that will transform the Atlantic Works Gallery to a solemn
space for remembrance, discussion, and reflection.

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 3, 6-9PM
Artist Talk on Art and Politics: Saturday, June 10, 6-9PM
Artist Panel Speakers on Human Rights Activism: Thursday, June 15, 6-9PM with
Anat Biletsky, Former Chairperson of B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization
Rick Sacra, M.D. a doctor serving in Liberia 20 years and Ebola survivor
Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 2-6 PM or by appointment

the Replacements

work by Marjorie Kaye, Walter Kopec, Brian Reardon, Justin Rounds, George Shaw, Melissa Shook,  and Dominick Takis

May 6 – 27, 2017

the REPLACEMENTS: Because even Nothing is Something
the REPLACEMENTS: Be a Stand By, be a Stand In, be a Surrogate, be an Alternate
the REPLACEMENTS: If at first you don’t succeed, there’s always an alternative universe to rely on
the REPLACEMENTS: Or Alternative Facts
the REPLACEMENTS: Look at THIS not THAT
the REPLACEMENTS: Fake News
the REPLACEMENTS: Leftover Casserole
the REPLACEMENTS: Replacing blank walls with sublime energy
the REPLACEMENTS: From the Sublime to the Ridiculous
the REPLACEMENTS: Common Sense
the REPLACEMENTS: Compassion
the REPLACEMENTS: Art, Life, Beauty in a Time of Overwhelming Unbalance

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 64, 6-9PM
Third Thursday Reception and Artist Talk: Thursday, May 18, 6-9PM
Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 2-6 PM or by appointment

Landscapes of Memory…and Things that Remain

work by Walter Kopec and Melissa Shook

April 4 – 25, 2017

Walter Kopec’s work, … And Things That Remain, is a response to the volatile world of contemporary politics and social turmoil. The work explores our personal relationship with public symbols and our ability to express ourselves through them. Using visual and verbal references, Kopec probes our reliance on shared symbols to reflect our common bonds and our ability to communicate using them in this uncertain world. While some pieces may read as haunting visual poems, others unveil a tinge of humor… some toe the very thin line between the two. Using the simplest of concept-appropriate materials and the strategies of linguistic puzzle-making and myth-construction, the sculptures and drawings deconstruct and reconstruct the meaning of the “things that remain.”

www.walterkopec.com

Melissa Shook’s Landscape of Memory chronicles the seasonal changes of flowers grown in a community garden plot, from bare earth to seedlings, first flowering, late summer abundance, frost and snow. This multi-media installation uses large sequential color photographs of zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos and marigolds, small pastel and ink drawings, watercolor and acrylic paintings of flowers along with text and video to pay homage to the grandfather who so unexpectedly produced a mass of flowers in a backyard garden when Melissa Shook was thirteen.

www.melissashook.com

Opening Reception: Saturday, April 1, 6-9PM
Third Thursday Reception and Artist Talks: Thursday, April 20, 6-9PM
Gallery Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 PM or by appointment

 

Conceptual Artist Walter Kopec and his ‘hangman’ word play drawing. At Atlantic Works Gallery, 2017.

 

Blue. Red. Black and White.

Not a hint of cowardly yellow bridges the Right with the Left; no grey softens the Yes and No, the Pro with the Con. There are no dips into non-objectivity. The work Walter Kopec is showing at Atlantic Work Gallery is elegant visual symbolism embedded with the tension of theoretical opposites set off against one another.

Kopec’s crisp, spare images–a pencil drawing, black tape on the wall, nail-pierced shoes, a grid of suspended red and blue ribbons–deliver complex messages; their controlled surfaces counter the irrational and compulsive inner workings of our American politics, culture and society.

The work relies on symbol and the openness of symbol interpretation. There are multiple references to the American flag.  An impressive, mobile-like soft-sculpture, built from red and blue ribbons and fragments of picture frames, takes stage center. “Is the flag assembling, or disassembling?” Kopec asks. Nearby is a wall-sculpture, echoing the shape and material of the mobile sculpture but not its colors. It is a flag made of black and white stripes, which Kopec titles We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident  “And the next part is,  …that all men are created equal.”  Kopec says, quoting the words of the U.S. Constitution.  “And, it’s not just black-white racism that this work references,” he adds. “It’s also the black and white print medium– fact vs. fiction. Truth vs. fake news.”

"The Last Dog Eats Alone" ( in a dog-eats-dog world) Pencil drawing with inks. Walter Kopec, 2017.

“The Last Dog Eats Alone” ( in a dog-eats-dog world) Pencil drawing with inks. Walter Kopec, 2017.

Kopec’s  process is contemplative and never-ending. “I might go to my studio and read the dictionary. I might do word games, puzzles. I sit, think and write down ideas. I ask myself what’s happening in the world. What’s the drumbeat right now? ”

For 15 years Kopec’s been chronicling his ideas, words, stories. “I have boxes and boxes filled with sketches, notes, clippings, even fabric. What is this for? What can this mean? Can I use this? How?  Explain it? How? For me, there’s really no start-stop in the conceptual process. My mind is always active. I even wake up at night and write notes.”

“My current conundrum,” Kopec says, “is that I grew up in the 60s and 70s. Experienced stuff that happened in the civil rights movement; during the Viet Nam War. The unfairness of it all.” Today he sees similar opposing forces fighting it out, except that now it is his generation that’s the cause of it. “The people I grew up with are responsible. What prompted this to start?” he wonders.

Two of the pieces in the show have Trump-related themes, though Kopec makes it clear he has not made

Walter Kopec in gallery installing the red strips for ...AND WHAT REMAINS

Walter Kopec in gallery installing the red stripes for …THINGS THAT REMAIN

Trump art or anti-Trump art, and that has no desire to put any of his brain power into Trump. “The art is about what is happening in society: special interests, politics for self-serving personnel gain. Trump just happened to bring it all to the forefront and pushed the ugliness in our faces.”

In the binary opposition of his show …AND THINGS THAT REMAIN, Kopec points  a finger at the system we live in that considers everything either “right or wrong” , “winner or loser” ; “Democratic or Republican” ; “You’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists.” Using cultural symbols and coded words he connects with emotions illustrating the continuing interrelated conflicts that he felt earlier in his career. “I certainly don’t have answers nor do I pretend to have answers to what’s happening,” Kopec affirms. “America is happiness. This is where people come to pursue happiness.”  He points to a drawing on the wall of a stick figure running after a small American flag, which he titles Pursuit of Happiness.  “ I’m not making judgement on any of this stuff. I hope the pieces appeal to a universal sense of things.”

Walter Kopec’s…AND THINGS THAT REMAIN runs in conjunction with Melissa Shook’s LANDSCAPE OF MEMORY. April 1-26, 2017. At Atlantic Works Gallery, 80 Border Street, East Boston.

 “Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory [of the artist] since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.”       —Harold Pinter, upon his receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature, 2005